Originating from the UK, gothic subculture and fashion have found their way in many parts of the world. Nowadays, you’ll find goth fashion that ranges from traditional to cyber goths. These styles have developed over time and are now taking over mainstream goth fashion. However, these weren’t there.
This blog will guide you through the history of goth fashion, when and where it all began, the developments it has seen, and the different types of gothic fashion styles today.
When Did the Goth Subculture Begin?
The goth culture dates back to the late 300 AD. This is the time when German Visigoths and Ostrogoths were spread far and wide in the Roman Empire. However, the goth subculture today has very little to do with them.
The goth subculture took off during the 1970s as a part of the post-punk music in the UK. Therefore, most of what you’ll see in goth fashion is influenced by gothic artists and celebrities.
One of the leading band managers of the time, Joy Division, was the first to use “Gothic” when describing music. Moving forward, more bands introduced music fitting the gothic genre, including Bauhaus and The Cure.
The Development of Gothic Fashion
People follow celebrities for their fashion aspirations. That’s exactly what happens in the gothic fashion trends as well. Initially, the 70s were all about pale-vampire looks that were donned by lead singers of The Sisters of Mercy and The March Violets.
Goth fashion is known to adapt to the changing times. The extreme goth looks have worn out, and have given way to more modern gothic fashion. During the 90s, cybergoth fashion emerged that was allowed more color to goth clothing.
The latest goth fashion development is known as the health goths. It was initially meant to be considered a dystopian form of art by pop singers, but it quickly turned into a new fashion style for goths around the world.
The Different Types of Gothic Fashion and their History
Let’s take a look at the five different types of gothic fashion styles present in the world today.
Traditional goths came into existence when the goth subculture took off in the 70s. Gothic bands including Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees, Joy Division, and The Sisters of Mercy gave way to the iconic gothic makeup and clothing.
This style was all about the darkened kohl eyes and black clothing. It was a way for punk-rock, deathrock, and other similar music genre fans to express themselves. This style went on till the early 80s and focused on black gothic clothing, that included goth jackets, leggings, and skirts.
During the 90s, The Addams Family came out and thus began the fashion for romantic goths. Morticia Addams was the perfect example for every romantic goth to copy. It was all about flowy black goth dresses and jewelry that matched.
Along with this, romantic goths were heavily influenced by the idea of roaming around graveyards, decorating homes with dead flowers, and learning more about the gothic culture through the dark literature available at the time.
Cyber goths came into being around the late 90s. The combination came into being as there was a shift in the music taste of many fans. There was more focus on electronic music that led to a change in fashion styles as well.
Cyber goths were similar to traditional goths, but with slightly more color. You’d find more purples, greens, and pinks paired with black outfits. This is also the time where black hair with colored streaking became popular amongst goths.
Nu goths emerged as a way to curb the time it took goths to get ready. It’s a more modern and contemporary style of goth fashion that focuses on dark elements without making it overbearing.
The gothic clothing and jewelry remain minimalistic with the continued focus on black. However, the hairstyles have changed drastically. This goth fashion style opts out of the excessive backcombing and spikes.
The latest in the goth fashion market is the health goth. A US pop duo introduced images of tech-based dystopian style to the internet that emerged as streetwear soon after. The fashion style comprises a mix of sportswear, sci-fi, and futuristic black clothing. You’ll find it to have a similar touch to what you might have seen on The Matrix.
If you’re looking for something specific, Cradle of Goth is a great online store to help you find all kinds of goth fashion styles.
About the Author
The author of this blog is a goth fashion enthusiast who’s developed a keen interest in gothic fashion history. She’s currently working at Cradle of Goth in their research and development department and contributes to introducing products that resonate with goths.